Local Country Singer Hopes to Earn National Titles | Contests
A Cheektowaga native is hoping to add another songwriting accomplishment to her resume as she crafts music to honor her family and help others.
Lisa Barrett, a 1986 graduate of Cheektowaga Central High School, is a nominee for Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in the 2013 Clays Country Music Awards, sponsored by Clays Country Radio.
“I’m honored to be nominated right alongside some incredibly talented artists and songwriters from around the globe,” she said. “Thanks to Clays Country Radio, my original music is being played in approximately 80-plus countries internationally. It’s an awesome feeling to hear your song right after Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn or Garth Brooks.”
Barrett took first place in an international contest two years ago with her original song “When You Look at Me,” which she wrote in honor of her nephew, Austin, who died of cancer before his second birthday. While she grew up performing in church groups and high school musicals, “When You Look at Me” was her first experience writing a song, and a new passion was born. She moved on to record an album by the same name in Nashville.
Barrett credits her father, Sigmund Racki, for her musical talents. Since his passing in 2009, she has produced music in honor of him as well as Austin.
“My sisters and I all got the music gene from him,” she said of her father, who was the director of the Resurrection Church Folk Group, Hand Bell Choir and Drill Team.
A prevention educator with the Genesee/Orleans Council and Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Barrett is always searching for ways to lend her musical talents to enrich the lives of youths. In June, she was awarded the 2013 Drug Free Hero Award during a ceremony in New York City for her song and project titled “Everyday Hero.” With grant funding, she wrote the lyrics and music and gathered a group of students from Genesee and Orleans counties to record the song and video, both focusing on youths choosing to lead drug-free lives.
In winning the Clays Country Radio contest, she hopes to further spread her family’s story and inspire others.
“My goal has always been to touch people’s lives and make a difference through the music,” she said.
Voting for the Clay Country Music Awards is fan-based and open until Sept. 30. Listeners may vote daily once per computer by visiting the site clayscountry.com/Lisabarrett.